The first of three luxurious days off in Sunny Santa Monica involved much catching up with family and friends. The weather has been continually gorgeous during our trip down the west coast but last week in LA was apparently sweltering. More unseasonal weather with valley temperatures in the 100’s in October! Soaking up the sun, sea, and sand was also on the agenda along with my customary pilgrimage to ZeeJays board shop on 3rd (via Peets coffee). PROPER flip-flops..finally. The only dilemma was which ones to choose from the huge wall displaying a myriad of new, improved and mega functional sandal technology. I opted for Rip Curl bog-standard beach flops..the ones with the bottle opener in the sole for emergencies, Ipanema’s now officially and unceremoniously binned.
The show day bus departure time was scheduled for 1pm. As usual, everyone in the band was prompt and we headed off towards the 405 freeway Northbound and then the 101 up through Ventura and on towards Santa Barbara. The many familiar sights and smells of the orange groves of Ventura and surf breaks up the coastline. Rincon Point beach caught my eye. This beach is world renowned and has the most amazing point break when it’s working. I love the scenic railroad track that runs alongside the road.
Pretty soon we were rolling in to surely one of California’s most picturesque towns and a venue loved by all who have performed there. As with most venues we play, the backstage wall of fame is star-studded from Bob Marley to Rod Stewart and Emmylou Harris back in 2006. We had a great time last time we played here and remember how well looked after this venue is. The whole place is not only spotless, it’s beautifully designed. Catering was set up just outside the under-stage backstage area and naturally curious where food is concerned, Just as it started to spit with rain, I enquired as to the menu for the evening. Caribbean short ribs. Yum.
Back line boys Kevin, Howard and Ben…
Glenn had time to spend with the old girl…pic by John McCusker
Me with the RED Korg M3
The light being what it was for our early show, Pete and I armed ourselves with our digi SLR cameras and took some sound-check shots. Pete shot some nice ones during the show too. Showtime was early due to a curfew imposed on the venue by local residents, a fairly common and acceptable situation in a few of these outdoor theaters in California. We went onstage at 6:30 and the fun was done by 7:45.
After another fabulous show during which I heard people shouting after our encore “just one more hour”, we headed for the buses and back to Santa Monica. Pete and Tim had organized a Mexican feast for our delectation and we devoured some of the finest burritos I’ve ever had, I always say that though. The evening’s journey was rounded off with some tunes courtesy of my iTunes collection. The bus sound system passes the test for sure. What started with and rather appropriately Tony Bennett’s ‘The Good Life’ went on to feature Ray Charles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Johnny Cash, the Louvins, Little Walter etc. etc. As we pulled up to the hotel Bob Marley’s ‘Could You Be Loved’ was on the fade.